Arizona Enacts Roadblocks on Suing Healthcare Businesses for Claims Due to COVID-19

Professional Liability and Malpractice

On Monday, April 6, 2021, Governor Ducey signed Senate Bill 1377 into law. This law provides that a person or business “that acts in good faith to protect a customer, student, tenant, volunteer, patient, guest or neighbor or the public” is not liable for damages based on claims they failed to protect the plaintiff “unless it is proven by clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant’s actions showed “willful misconduct or gross negligence.”

This law provides protection for facilities like nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other long-term care facilities from claims that these facilities failed to protect their residents, such as by providing basic infection control.

Plaintiffs can still bring claims, but must meet a higher standard of willful misconduct or gross negligence, which is harder to prove than a negligence claim.